A one day meeting on Solid Waste Management was conducted in association with Kerala’s Sanitation Programme, called Suchitwa Mission on 16th March, 2017 in Padmam Auditorium, Institute of Management in Government (IMG), Thiruvananthapuram.
The meeting received good participation from urban local bodies (ULBs) from Kerala and other South Indian States - Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana and Tamil Nadu. Also, other stakeholders such as representatives from local government, officials from Suchitwa Mission, academicians and NGOs attended the programme.
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The programme started by the welcome address by Swati Singh Sambyal, Programme Manager, CSE and Dr. K Vasuki, Executive Director, Suchitwa Mission. The first session on Reinventing Waste Management was chaired by Dr. K Vasuki. Mrs. Almitra H Patel, National Expert for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan spoke on role of SWM Rules 2016 in incentivising segregation, status of implementation and constraints in management. It was followed by address on Kerala’s waste management over the years by Dr. Ajay Kumar Varma, Technical Expert, Haritha Keralam Mission. Mr M R Prem, Ward Councilor, Allapuzha Municiapal Corporation spoke on the Alappuzha model of waste management. Dr. D K Nagaraju, Health Inspector, Mysuru Municipal Corporation explained Mysuru’s approach on managing their waste.
The second session on Waste to Wealth- Understanding the Waste Business was chaired by Ms Sunita Narain, Director General, CSE. The session started with address of Nalini Shekar, Director, Harisu Dala, Bengaluru on Recycling with Dignity. Ms Shekar highlighted the importance of informal workers and the Harisu Dala model. It was followed by Dr K. Vauski’s presentation on the initiatives of Suchitwa Mission in Kerala. Mr Sasikumar, Assistant Health Officer, Trivandrum Municipal Corporation spoke on economics of waste management in Thiruvanathapuram City. This was followed the Well-being out of Waste (WOW) initiative in Southern cities by G N Murthy, Programme Head, WoW. Mr. Kabeer Haroon, Director, Clean Kerala Company addressed the audience on the mandate of the company in recycling plastic and using it for making roads in the state of Kerala. This was followed by an open house discussion on acknowledging the role of informal sector and how can ULBs integrate them.
The third session post lunch addressed the topic of urban challenges and constraints in management of MSW w.r.t segregation, collection, transportation and treatment and was chaired by Mr Jayakumar C, Executive Director, Thanal Trust. Ms. Mangalam Balasubramanian, Chairman, Exnora Green, Pammal, Tamil Nadu spoke about decentralized management in Pammal, Chennai. This was followed by sessions from ULBs of Tirupati, Bobbili, Coimbatore, and Ramanagara. The open house discussion following this session raised questions concerning the feasibility of centralized waste management systems. The feasibility of the Waste to Energy plants for Indian waste composition attracted many comments from the veterans present in the meeting.
The fourth session was the book release of CSE’s recent report ‘Not in my Backward- Solid Waste Management in India Cities’. Swati Singh Sambyal’s welcome note was followed by a presentation highlighting the agenda of the book by Sunita Narain. The book was released by Dr. T. M Thomas Issac, Finance Minister, Government of Kerala. Dr Isaac gave an interesting address promising to expand the practice of decentralized waste management to other towns and cities of Kerala. Questions were raised on the topics around waste management by the participants and were answered in by Dr. Thomas and Sunita Narain.
Site Visit to Alapuzha on 17th March, 2017 for Municipalities
On 17th March, 2017 17 officials from ULBs outside Kerala visited Alappuzha to see the celebrated decentralised model of waste management. Mr. M R Prem and Mr Jayakumar from Alappuzha Municipal Corporation along with other people from the Kerala State Pollution Control Board took the participants and the CSE team around the town to show the decentralized model of waste management in the town.
The first visit was to the Wat-San Park, a community composting and demonstration site maintained by the corporation. Officials from Alappuzha municipality explained the model to the participants and answered their queries. They even explained the history of Alappuzha and what led to the shift to decentralised management. After this, the officials visited households in Ward No. 21 to witness segregation and decentralised management. They interacted with households to understand the process- how biogas plants are being used, and how the gas is consumed as fuel for cooking. Mr. Prem also highlighted that people are given about 60 percent subsidy inorder to push them for treatment at source.
It was an eye opening experience for a few participants to see the decentralized model in Alappuzha. The ULBs were keen to adopt this model in their respective cities and have promised to go back and talk about it. They also thanked CSE for this initiative and have pledged to push for decentralised treatment in their ULBs.
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